[b]Megan Foo: What inspires you about Givology’s mission? [/b]
[b]Sitian Zhang:[/b] What inspires me the most about Givology's mission is its emphasis on solving big problems with simple solutions. Through utilizing a few hours from each volunteer and a few dollars from each donor, we can amass a force strong enough to help combat the obstacles that education currently faces around the world and, in extension, the social issues (poverty, women's rights, religious and racial tolerance, environmental degradation, etc.) that education helps dissolve. Giving each child just a few more years of school may provide him or her with a self sufficiency that may add up to benefits for the entire society.
[b]Megan Foo: Can you tell me about your experience as a blogger and leader of special projects?[/b]
[b]Sitian Zhang: [/b]Being a blogger at Givology, has provided me with the motivation to really get to know Givology's partners as well as the projects and students that have been the focus of Givology's work. My blog posts so far include an interview of the president of [url=http://www.givology.org/~csocial/]Cercle Social[/url] as well as an overview of letters received from the students of the [url=http://www.givology.org/~peach/]Peach Foundation[/url]. Speaking with the leaders of Givology's partners, I have come to understand the true nature and effectiveness of Givology's partnership based structure. Reading about the obstacles faced by Peach Foundation students, I realize how fortunate I have been to have had access to all the opportunities this country has to offer and I came away from writing that blog post inspired to do more for help those students (not much different from myself) achieve their dreams.
[b]Megan Foo: Can you tell me about Givology’s Chapter at High Tech High School? Any recent updates?[/b]
[b]Sitian Zhang: [/b]I founded High Tech High School's Givology Chapter last year with Kylie Long, Meichin Ong, and Rangoli Mittal. Though we weren't set up until May, we still managed to raise $200 which we then donated to [url=http://www.givology.org/~tfindependence/]Training for Independence[/url].
High Tech Givology has many plans for this year including numerous bake sales, a dumpling sell, a schoolwide debate on education, and a letter writing campaign to Givology students. We had our first meeting two weeks ago, where we introduced the mission and vision of Givology to several new members, discussed upcoming events, and filmed a [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8mCSBjWdKs]"What Does Girls' Education Mean to You?" video[/url]. We'll be holding our very first bakesale this Wednesday!
[b]Megan Foo: What does education mean to you?[/b]
[b]Sitian Zhang: [/b]To me, education has always meant freedom: a freedom to determine your own future, a freedom to make your own choices unbeholdened to anyone else, financial freedom. That kind of freedom is valuable for me, a child from an average middle class family who wants to make something of herself. It is perhaps even more valuable for students in developing nations trying to break free from generations of poverty to become the first high school graduates or college attendees of their families.
[b]Megan Foo: What are your hopes for Givology’s future?[/b]
[b]Sitian Zhang: [/b]I hope that Givology can utilize growing technological advances to increase our reach. Social media has become one of the most powerful catalysts for change in today's world, having started revolutions both political and economical. Givology, being largely social media based, can harness this power to reach supporters of education across all demographics.
[b]Megan Foo: What do you enjoy the most about your volunteering?[/b]
[b]Sitian Zhang: [/b]I enjoy being able to see the difference that I am helping make. The transparency of Givology not only shows the donors what they are helping Givology accomplish but it also shows it to the volunteers. From reading the words of students half a world a way, through watching the Grand Status bars fill up, and through reading updates from students who Givology have helped enter college, I know that my work and the work of this organization is of substantial value.
[b]Megan Foo: What advice would you give to someone who’s considering volunteering with Givology?[/b]
[b]Sitian Zhang: [/b]Begin by diversifying. Start by making small contributions to projects in different areas. Try to find where you are most effective or interested or where you can make the most impact. Discover your niche in Givology.
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